3 Takeaways from Seattle's 6-4 loss to Boston in the season opener

The Mariners looked rough to open the season, and Opening Night was a disappointment. Here are three takeaways from the first game of the year.
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners
Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Welcome back baseball! After a long winter it was great to sit back and watch real baseball again. After a beautiful Opening Day pregame ceremony that saw Nelson “Boomstick Baby” Cruz retire as a Seattle Mariner, the Mariners took the field against the Boston Red Sox, falling 6-4. It's been a few days since the game happened, but we wanted to give it some time to let the game simmer.

The sky is not falling, the season isn't over, and Ty France going 0-4 doesn't mean he's toast. It's just one game, even if an Opening Day loss stings a little more than usual. That being said, that doesn't mean we can't have some takeaways from the kickoff of the 2024 season.

3 Takeaways from Seattle’s 6-4 loss to Boston 

Takeaway #1: Luis Castillo looked like how 2023 Luis Castillo ended

Luis Castillo had a fantastic 2023 season. He pitched an ace, was an all-star, and was the 2nd best pitcher in the American League for much of the season. He seemed poised to bring the Mariners back to the playoffs, before getting crushed at home in his final two starts against Houston and Texas. 

Those two losses exposed some of the potential weaknesses that Castillo showed in 2023, giving up the long ball at an alarming rate, and his stuff being almost too good, resulting in too many walks and a high pitch count that makes it difficult for him to go deep into games.

On Thursday night, that showed up again against a last place team from 2023. Against Rafael Devers, the one guy on Boston that you really need to be careful with, Castillo gave up a home run that put Seattle down 2-0 early. He had just two walks, but it took him 91 pitches just to get through 5 innings, surrendering 6 hits and 4 earned runs to go along with his 5 K’s.

Luis looked good, he's going to have a great season, but you expect your ace to deliver against what could be a horrible Red Sox team at home on Opening Day.

Takeaway #2: Welcome back Mitch Haniger

While the outcome of last night's game was disappointing, the return of Mitch Haniger felt like a win on its own.

The Mariners legend from 2018-2022, Haniger returned to Seattle in the Robbie Ray deal, and quickly reminded us of how impactful he can be. Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning, Haniger smoked a line drive home run out to right field to help close the gap to 3-2. On the night, Mitch went 2-3 with a walk. Most importantly, he looked healthy. With the high floor/ceiling potential that both Dom Canzone and Luke Raley possess, having a steady (and healthy) presence in Haniger could be crucial to stabilizing the Mariners lineup in 2024.

Takeaway #3: The Marine Layer is real

It's a painful message to learn or remember each April, but the Marine Layer in Seattle is real and a true nightmare to hitters. Last night, the Mariners felt that layer push them back time and time again.

In his first AB of the year, Josh Rojas appeared to have hit a towering home run into right field, but the ball surprisingly was caught right at the fence for a loud out #1 in the 3rd inning. 

In the bottom of the 4th, after Jorge Polanco got on base with a leadoff HBP, Mitch Garver smoked a 2-1 sinker to center field before it was caught right at the warning track, in one of the deepest parts of the ballpark.

Trailing 5-2 in the 6th inning, Jorge Polanco was welcomed to Seattle with an out that was almost identical to what Josh Rojas had hit earlier. 

Who knows how much these plays would have impacted the game, but we're talking about three solid cracks of the bat that would have been home runs in about 60 days.

Can the Mariners finish strong in the finale? We will find out when Miller takes the mound Sunday afternoon.